Road trips are a family tradition. Every year, millions of families load up their vehicles and make long, winding trips through the U.S. They visit national parks, monuments, and everything in between.
All those hours in the car can get a little tiresome, especially if you don’t have a road trip car. People who try to squeeze into small sedans and coupes are left wondering why they drove rather than hopping on an airplane. When it comes to road-tripping, there are some cars much better suited for the long trip than others.
The perfect road trip car may be up for debate, but there are a few cars that rank high on the list. Most people would agree that the SUV models are great to take on road trips, but minivans are great options too.
The SUV or minivan doesn’t have to be the newest model. Minivans like the Kia Rondo are great options for your next road trip. Kia Rondo insurance is also easy to get and very affordable, making it an even easier choice.
Car Features You’ll Want During a Road Trip
Road trips offer a lot of great advantages. In most instances, road trips are cheaper, allow more flexibility, and let you pack in a lot more activities.
Many people consider road trips to be a summer pastime. It’s true, most people plan their road trips for the warmer months, but there are great places to road trip in the colder winter months. Road trips are also a great way to get out and adventure while social distancing in a post-COVID-19 world.
The truth is, it doesn’t matter when or where you go. If you’re going on a road trip, there are a handful of features to look for in the vehicle you’ll be taking.
#1 – Cruise Control
The first feature needed in your road trip vehicle is cruise control. The long hours of driving can be taxing, especially if that drive includes long stretches of highway. Cruise control makes it easier and more enjoyable to rack up the miles.
#2 – Blind Spot and Lane Departure Warnings
Safety is also important on long road trips. New safety features help keep drivers, passengers, and other travelers safe. Features like blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warnings help in the quest to make driving safer.
#3 – Climate Control
Climate control is all about comfort. Long hours in any vehicle can get hot and uncomfortable. The climate control system of a vehicle can help keep everyone cool while on the road. More advanced climate control systems can even create different temperature zones to help cut down on arguments and differences of preferences.
#4 – Infotainment System
The infotainment system isn’t just about music. The infotainment system helps integrate everything from voice calls, text messages, and navigation. These systems make the long hours in a car more fun but safer as well. Infotainment systems allow a driver to manipulate different aspects of a vehicle without taking their hands off the steering wheel.
#5 – USB Ports
USB ports may seem like a small luxury, but they are essential. These little ports keep electronics charged and integrated into the speaker system of your vehicle.
Are road trips possible without USB ports? Of course, these ports are a great safety net.
#6 – Top-End Gas Mileage
One of the biggest expenditures on road trips is fuel. It’s an expected cost, but one that can be lessened with a good vehicle. Vehicles with top fuel economy are very important for long road trips.
#7 – Comfortable Interior
Because the majority of a road trip is spent inside a vehicle, it’s important that the interior is comfortable. A good road trip car won’t just have comfortable seats, though. The best road trip cars will offer great storage options and plenty of leg or elbow room.
#8 – Panoramic Sunroof
Another seemingly luxury feature is the panoramic sunroof. Why is this on the list of must-have items? It offers a larger, more attractive view of the world outside. If you’re driving through the world, you should get the best view possible.
Top Road Trip Cars
If you’re looking for a good road trip car, there are a lot of options on the market. Minivans and both small and large SUVs rank high on the list of top road trip cars. Most of these models offer the best combination of space and gas mileage, so the choice ultimately comes down to preference and needs.
One of the more underestimated road trip cars in recent years is the Kia Rondo. The Kia Rondo was manufactured only from 2007 to 2010, but it’s still got a few features for today’s road trip.
The Kia Rondo is a crossover-type vehicle. It’s a hatchback with a more minivan profile. This may seem like an interesting combination, but the sophisticated and one-of-a-kind design offers a lot. The hatchback backend offers a lot of storage for all the road trip necessities.
The minivan profile offers a lot of headroom and more seating options. It’s a seven-passenger vehicle, so you can get more people on the road trip or pack in more luggage.
The Rondo’s V6 engine is also a big plus. The engine offers a lot of power for the compact size as well as 26 mpg on the highway. It really does offer the size, storage capacity, and performance options needed for a great road trip car.
Toyota Highlander Hybrid
If you’re looking for a larger SUV for that next road trip, then the Toyota Highlander is a good choice. The larger size isn’t something to be afraid of, either. The Highlander still offers great performance.
The Highlander offers a 35 mpg highway with ultra-low emissions. Plus, the Highlander comes standard with all-wheel drive. Your road trip will be more efficient and comfortable.
Another road trip option is the Subaru Outback. The first feature of this vehicle is the model itself. Subaru vehicles are known to be long-lasting and well-built vehicles that offer adventure and dependability.
The Outback is a crossover-type vehicle. It has features of both a small SUV and a station wagon. This means there is a large storage area, more seating options, and higher performance capabilities.
Subaru Outbacks offer 26 mpg on the highway, but that doesn’t mean other areas are lacking. The Outbacks come standard with all-wheel drive and great off-road capabilities. This car has all the features necessary for a road trip without losing out on the adventure.
The Kia Telluride is the new kid on the block, but it’s quickly making a name for itself. It’s a mid-size SUV that boosts a third row and up to eight passengers. Once again, you have plenty of seats or storage options.
Tellurides also have great performance options. They have a V6 engine with a 5,000-pound towing capacity. Neither of these features cut into the fuel economy either. The Kia Telluride offers a 26 mpg highway.
So before you jump on the road for your next long trip, consider your road-tripping vehicle. Consider what you need on a road trip and invest in the vehicle that will get you where you want to go comfortably and efficiently.
About the Author
Laura Gunn is an insurance expert who researches and writes for the car insurance comparison site, QuoteInspector.com. She and her family travel almost exclusively by car and are big fans of long-distance road trips.